China has selected the film Xuanzang, which also stars Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, as its official entry for the Foreign Language Category of the 89th Academy Awards. The 43-year-old actor plays emperor Harshavardhana, the last Hindu emperor of united India in the film. This is Sood’s debut Chinese film.
Sood shared the news on Twitter and posted a photo of his look in the film :
“Xuanzang” an official entry to oscars. ????fingers crossed pic.twitter.com/XBnBKSMqsj
— sonu sood (@SonuSood) November 4, 2016
Directed by Huo Jianqi, Xuanzang is a historical adventure film which chronicles the seventeen year long journey of Chinese Buddhist monk, Xuanzang to India during the Tang dynasty. Apart from Sonu Sood, the also stars Indian actors Neha Sharma, Mandana Karimi and Ali Fazal.
“When I started shooting the film, I spent a year in China on and off. I knew I was getting to be part of history. The film had a star studded premiere in Beijing and those who attended spoke highly of the movie. It is a special film and only China could have made it on such a grand scale,” Sonu Sood told Mid Day.
He added that he was happy that India was shown in a grand way in an international film. “Finally there was someone who could envision India as something more than what Slumdog Millionaire showed. My Mother was a history teacher and as a kid, I learnt about the gracious King Harsha, but playing the character was enthralling.”
Apart from this, Sood is also part of Indo-Chinese co-production Kung Fu Yoga starring Jackie Chan in the lead role. the film also stars Amyra Dastur. The project is a part of the three-film agreement signed between India and China in May 2015.